Confession: I have never really loved enchiladas. Well let me clarify by saying by enchiladas I mean authentic enchiladas. Growing up we would have chicken enchiladas made with cream of chicken and lots of cheese that I always loved (and sort of not so secretly still love as comfort food today). My mom would always make them along with more traditional red sauce enchiladas, but I would never want those. I still don’t love all kinds of enchiladas, but over the years I have enjoyed more and more spice and flavor than the creamy and cheesy ones I enjoyed as a kid.
This recipe is a good compromise between the two, and I am kind of obsessed with it. The jalapeños and spinach add some spice and labor, but there is still plenty of creaminess. You can use flour tortillas if you prefer, but I really like the texture and taste of corn ones for this dish. This is also an easy recipe to prep ahead of time, and the filling and sauce can be stored separately beforehand for quick assembly.
- 3 jalapeno peppers
- Olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups spinach, chopped
- 3 cups cooked chicken, chopped
- 1½ cups shredded Monterey jack cheese
- 8 oz cream cheese
- ¾ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup half and half or cream
- 12-14 corn tortillas
- Preheat oven to broil. Place jalapeno peppers on a small baking sheet and place in oven. Broil, turning a few times during cooking, until peppers are starting to brown/char all around. This will take about 5 minutes. Remove from oven. Once cooled, deseed and roughly chop. Set aside.
- Lower heat to 375 degrees F. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat a small amount of olive oil, enough to coat the bottom of a pan. Add onions and cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, about 6 minutes. Add in garlic, and continue to cook until garlic and onions are soft. Remove from heat. Add in spinach, stirring, and let wilt. Let mixture cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, add onion/spinach mixture. Stir in chicken and 1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese. Set aside.
- In the same saucepan you used for the onions, combine cream cheese, sour cream, and half and half over low-medium heat. Cook, stirring, until cream cheese is melted and mixture is well combined. Add roasted jalapeños, and puree sauce using either an immersion or regular blender. Add about ½ of the sauce to the chicken filling, and set the rest aside.
- Spray a medium sized casserole pan with non-stick cooking spray. Fill tortillas with chicken mixture, one at a time, rolling and placing in prepared pan until you have used up the filling. You want them to fit fairly snugly together. Pour remaining sauce over the top, and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, until bubbly and cheese is beginning to brown.
Source: adapted from Cooking For Keeps.